Set of Three Talavera Apothecary Jars or Albarelos
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Set of Three Talavera Apothecary Jars or Albarelos

Spain (Talavera de la Reina, Toledo)
18th Century
Carmelite Coat of Arms
Cm 27 / 21 / 23 high x 10 wide

A set of three 18th century glazed ceramic apothecary jars made in Talavera de la Reina, Spain - known for its ceramic tradition since the Roman times. Also called "albarelos" these jars were made especially to store herbs and other materials used for making traditional medicines in early apothecaries or pharmacies. Most often these pharmacies were located in convents and monasteries, and the albarelos would often feature crests or coats-of-arms associated with various religious orders. The heraldic cross with stars identifies these three jars with La Orden de los Carmelitas Descalzos (or Barefoot Carmelites), a Catholic religious order founded in 1562. The space between the two lines below the coat-of-arms was to mark the name of the material inside the jar.


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